SEQRA's Siblings: Precedents from Little NEPA's in the Sister States
22 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2009
Date Written: 1982
Recurring patterns of new land uses and development exist throughout the United States. It is only natural, therefore, that state legislatures have sought to regulate and control these developments in similar ways. The environmental impact assessment process at its best is a technique not just to protect environmental.quality, but also to promote the ordered growth of society. The courts do much to advance both wise use of natural resources and social and economic development by reinforcing the legislative judgment that environmental impact analysis shall be a part of all governmental decision-making in the federal government and in states such as New York, California and Washington.
Just as the experiences under the Massachusetts' little NEPA gave the Council on Environmental Quality the idea of "scoping" to narrow an EIS, and the NEPA regulations now include a requirement for scoping, so also the NEPA process can guide the states' little NEPA's. An evolving and symbiotic relationship exists between NEPA and the comparable state laws, just as there is one among the state enactments.
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